Tue09022014

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Day Worker Center timeline pushed back, but renovation planning continues

Photo Courtesy Of The Day Worker Center

Santa Clara University students volunteered at the centers new location last month as part of a neighborhood outreach project.

The Day Worker Center of Mountain View received a Mountain View Mayor's Award for humanitarian work this month, but the non-profit is still a few long steps from settling into a permanent home.

The center, currently located at 748 Mercy St. in Mountain View, provides resources for day laborers seeking local employment. Renovation plans for the center's new location at 113 Escuela Ave. have been pushed back to next summer, while work continues behind the scenes to secure a use permit for operating at the property.

Center Advisory Board Chairwoman Cindy Luedtke said that securing the permit has taken longer than expected, but the board hoped to get a conditional use permit (CUP) by February and a renovation permit by April.

"We're trying to get our CUP from the city of Mountain View before we spend a lot more money on design," Luedtke said. "The final paperwork went in about a week and a half ago. They did require us to have full engineer drawings."

Parking and traffic congestion are two key concerns neighbors have raised about the new location. Center planners are negotiating to lease a city lot adjacent to the new facility for parking.

"The parking plan is included with the drawings for our CUP application and will be reviewed at the same time. We are working on the wording of the lease agreement with the city staff," Luedtke said.

Supporters have raised approximately half of the estimated $1 million needed to purchase and renovate the former laundry facility on Escuela Avenue. The land was purchased earlier this year for $300,000, and an overhaul of the cinderblock building is estimated to cost as much as $700,000.

The $500,000 the center has raised includes pledges of support from individuals and the cities of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, as well as in-kind donations, Luedtke said.

The Day Worker Center of Mountain View is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization with a board of directors. The board has given potential donors tours of the site and is approaching foundations, but Luedtke said a full-blown capital campaign was waiting until the center secures the permit.

Last month, day workers and center volunteers gathered on a Saturday to beautify the as-yet-undeveloped parcel and donate labor to neighbors' projects as a gesture of goodwill.

"We had just two requests for help from our neighbors, but it was very nice – the activity on our property was awesome," said Center Director Maria Marroquin. "Students from Santa Clara University helped us to plant a lemon tree. It was very nice to see the students … working together arm and arm with the workers and trying to improve our community."

Students studying Spanish at the university visit the center to teach dayworkers English, swapping language skills and mixing cultures. The center has also been carrying out a series of local community service projects, including blood drives for the Stanford Blood Bank and a cleanup at the Mountain View Senior Center garden.

For more information, call 903-4102 or visit www.dayworkercentermv.org.

Contact Eliza Ridgeway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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